When you become a parent you are given the most valuable gift that you can ever be given. Not that you may really notice that at the time, as you are so busy looking after your new child. You are tired from the late nights. Your patience may be thin on the ground. Sometimes ,it takes your growing as a person to realise, the tiny new person you have to look after now, will give you the largest insight into yourself. Who you are and who you will end up being. It’s a long joyful journey. I know that if I look back at my mothering journey, I didn’t realise the full impact of the ride. I was able to become a mother very easily, it was relatively easy to become pregnant. It seemed a simple step to pace out the next 40 weeks until our new gift was presented to us. Sometimes the 40 week isn’t easy and you as the mother get tired, and worried and stressed. Sometimes getting pregnant in the first place is a huge journey in itself. Sometimes it just doesn’t happen. When the baby finally arrives its a time for huge celebration and joy. To celebrate the labouring journey and if your baby is healthy and the mother is strong and well – then the jig saw is complete. If, there is good family support to help with the precious new gift, then the journey is complete. Sometimes it’s not complete. Sometimes the baby is not well. This story takes a good time to unfold as the parents take the child to be tested here and there. The parents know that something isn’t quite right but no one can really help them. It takes a long time to get help. It takes the medical profession a long time to work out the differences with a baby and be able to offer any type of positive help or diagnosis. Precious babies that are born a little differently, from my experience, are not easily fitted into one group or the other. They are as individual as flowers are, precious, beautiful but not quite the same. It takes courage as a parent of these little ones to even tell the world your story. To be able to talk about the bundle that you have been blessed with. I guess nowadays it is a tiny bit easier. When my brother was born it wasn’t. My parents were naive in the way they lived. They took it upon themselves once their son was born to move to a different country. To leave behind the family support they didn’t know they would need. To move on into a whole new culture set, and try to fit in as best they could. With different lifestyles and different outlooks they moved on. They bought their three children to WA from Birmingham. I remember it being a long journey through Bahrain and Karachi and finally to spend a night in Singapore eating green pea soup. Our plane broke down and we had a luxurious one night stop over. I remember we had the BIGGEST bed in the hotel we stayed in. The flight normally took 2 days to get to Australia from England. We settled in Armadale, living a good happy life there. My Dad secured a good job with Monier Tiles. He had his own work vehicle and because of his job we had to have the telephone connected! – we were completely overjoyed by this. At Christmas we had to book our phone calls to England to our Aunties. Now I can just text my Aunty and send her pictures on my phone. Technology is amazing. If we didn’t book the call early enough we had to take what ever time was left and that was sometimes in the middle of the night. So we lived a different life to our relatives in England. We were always wanting to fit in and be accepted. Well, we were different, we were English. I have only just begun to realise there is a huge cultural difference with English and Aussies. We do things differently. I can’t put my finger on it right now but its different. It’s a huge difference too to have a precious brother, who just isn’t going to fit in to any where. To watch your parents struggle as they try to make him normal. They try to chastise and punish him to become something better than he can be. At school you are teased because you have the “Slow Brother”. There are always compensations made at home to compensate for your brother – and rightly so – but as a child you don’t really understand why. It was a long journey for my parents to reach a diagnosis and it wasn’t until my poor late Mother became ill with Lymphoma at the age of 60 that my brother aged 38 was put into any respite care. It was along difficult journey for my parents and for me. Today when I was out riding I saw a Dad calling to his tiny little princess. Shock of red hair perhaps she was 2. She looked so vulnerable so tiny and small, so beautiful. He was calling, calling then yelling, yelling for her to get off the bike trail. Calling out “I told you to get off there!” He stomped over and grabbed her sharply and pulled her off the trail. I wondered if she really knew where she was? I wondered if she understood what bikes were. Do you think she did? Did she realise she could get easily injured if she didn’t move. Or do you think she was simply looking at the sky or the grass and enjoying her world. When you have a new precious one or if you have any children at all. Please take time to enjoy them. Realise how vulnerable they are without you and also, realise the fine strong adults they will become. The story of who they are and how well you have bought them up begins to unfold as they grow. They become wise and sensible. They become carefree and sure of who they are. Your mind is blown away with the comments and ideas they have. Of the goals they aspire to reach. It takes time and it takes years. It takes joys and heartaches, tears and laughter. I would advise you to keep in your mind, all the time, the wonderful adults they will become, that’s something to aim for!! I know my now my own 4 children completely amaze me still each and everyday of their lives. Cherish your kids, and they will return the love 10 fold.